CALGARY, Nov. 10, 2014 /CNW/ - The Court of Appeal of Alberta has dismissed an application for permission to appeal a Court of Queen's Bench appeal decision that upheld the constitutionality of certain provisions of the Securities Act (Alberta).
Three respondents facing charges of fraud and misrepresentation in Provincial Court under the Securities Act challenged the constitutionality of those provisions, arguing that they are in fact criminal law powers, which are the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal government.
"This decision effectively puts to rest the argument that individuals who perpetrate securities fraud in Alberta should not be subject to significant penalties, including imprisonment, based on the constitutional division of powers," said Bill Rice, Chair and Chief Executive Officer. "In order to fulfill our mandate of protecting investors, we must maintain rigorous and visible enforcement activities. The ASC will continue to use every means available to us under the Securities Act to remove those in our capital markets who pose a threat to investors."
In dismissing the leave application, the Honourable Madam Justice Rowbotham held that this case does not raise an arguable appeal, and referred to several recent decisions of the Court of Appeal that concluded that "the province has the legislative jurisdiction to enact laws which impose penalties which appear to intrude on the criminal law sphere."
In May 2013, the Provincial Court dismissed the original application, ruling that the Securities Act provisions that allow the court to impose penal sanctions upon those found guilty of fraud and misrepresentation, including heavy fines and imprisonment, are within the constitutional powers of the Province of Alberta. In August 2014, an appeal to the Court of Queen's Bench was also dismissed.
The ASC is the regulatory agency responsible for administering the province's securities laws. It is entrusted with fostering a fair and efficient capital market in Alberta and with protecting investors. As a member of the Canadian Securities Administrators, the ASC works to improve, coordinate and harmonize the regulation of Canada's capital markets.
SOURCE: Alberta Securities Commission
For further information: For Media Inquiries: Alison Trollope, Director, Communications and Investor Education, 403.297.2664; For Investor Inquiries: ASC Public Inquiries, Toll Free 1.877.355.4488